Small town life is

After a short trip to what seems to be our most frequent travel destination, I find myself even more convinced of the benefits of living in a small town in Central Texas. For those of you who know me best, you probably know that my personal preference of places to settle would be in a Rocky Mountain hideaway somewhere amidst the snow-peaked mountains in Colorado. But alas, Brady is and will for some time continue to be called home. Now five years removed from life in the bustling metropolis of Bryan/College Station, I am firmly entrenched in the much slower pace of life in Brady. During a visit to my former hometown last week, I was reminded of just how busy life can be. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed and sometimes even miss the fast pace of life in a town such as B/CS that boasts the highest Ph.D. per capita and lowest unemployment level in the state. Competition is everywhere’from gas prices to parking spots. It seems as if just about everything is “marketable.” If you don’t like the selection at one grocery store, there is another one just down the street that you can try. If you don’t find the specific type of something-or-other that you are looking for, there is usually a host of other places you can try to find it all within a few miles. Yes, sometimes I miss having the variety often found in bigger cities. As a pseudo-wine connoisseur, I miss standing in front of a wine set in a major grocery chain and being able to gawk at any one of a thousand different bottles from which to choose. Just ask my wife. I get giddy when I get the chance to peruse a new wine set in a store. Big deal. I can get over it. There is something to be said for being able to get in and out of the grocery store here in town in only a few minutes. Besides, the lazy side of me really enjoys being able to park almost right in front of the door rather than “hawking” a spot for five minutes that ends up being 100 yards from the front entrance. Even then, at these grocery superstores, the item I usually need is 1/4 of a mile away in the farthest corner of the facility. One thing I surely don’t miss is sitting at a traffic light for five minutes just to get to the next one where I wait for another few minutes. Here in Brady, I can get all the way across town and back in 10 minutes, tops. Another thing struck me as special about towns like Brady when on Monday, I received a telephone call from Salt Lake City, Utah. The person on the other end of the phone was calling to inquire about interest in receiving some publicity about a Brady couple that was attending the Olympic games. She seemed quite surprised and taken aback when I told her the names of the couple before she could even get to that portion of her spiel. “How did you know who I was referring to'” she asked. “This is Brady, Texas,” I replied. Still dumbfounded as to how persons far removed from Salt Lake City could know who she was calling about, she was even more shocked when I told her she didn’t need to give them detailed information on how to contact me. “I believe the Lubkes know who I am and how to contact me,” I told the lady. “Are you sure they don’t need a phone number or anything'” she questioned. “No ma’am. I think they can handle it.” It was at that point that I realized yet another benefit of living here in the Heart of Texas. People know people. Neighbors know neighbors and friends are just around the corner. A perfect example was the tasty heart-shaped cookie delivered to my home a week or so ago by Glee Quick. I was home on a Monday with the crud that has been circulating through the community, and my family and I had missed church on Sunday. She had noticed our absence and made a sweet treat accompanied by a sweeter note that said she missed us at church. I am confident that doesn’t happen everywhere. There is a plaque in my home that was given to my wife and me when we first moved to Brady. It reads “A small town is like a big family.” No truer words have ever been spoken.’JS

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